We've all seen movies with incredible fight scenes between two actors who pour their hearts out to defeat the other and become victorious. But in the end, it's all acting and both go home with heavy paychecks in their back pockets. Not in Florence.

If you are in Florence in the summer (June and July to be specific), you must attend the Calcio Storico Fiorentino, a classic gladiator showdown which is a traditional and cultural event dating back 500 years. The event comprises of four teams, Bianchi, Verdi, Rossi and Azzuri, which consist of 27 competitors to battle the current champion in a giant sand pit field in Florence. After almost an hour of blood-shedding and broken bones, the winners receive a white calf in form of steaks.

The contest only has one rule: Everything goes.

MODERN GLADIATORS – CALCIO STORICO from David Battistella on Vimeo.

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